Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 1 month ago

The Useless Made Useful (Ez 15)

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Ezekiel 15

Zekiel Chapter Fifteen God continues through his profit Ekulea word of judgment to Jerusalem and the people there.Let's give our attention to it, and the word of the Lord came to me, son of man.How does the wood of the vine surpass any wood? The vine brands that is amongthe trees of the forest, is wood taken from it to make anything, do peopletake a peg from it to hang any vessel on it? Behold? It is given to the fire forfuel when the fire has consumed both ends of it in the middle of it ischarred it is it useful for anything behold when it was whole, it was usedfor nothing how much less when the fire has consumed it and it is charred. Canit ever be used for anything therefore thus says the Lord God, like the woodof the vine among the trees of the forest which I have given to the firefor fuel. So have I given up the inhabitants of Jerusalem and I will setmy face against them, though they escape the from the fire. The fireshall yet consume them, and you will know that I am the Lordwhen I set my face against them and I will make the lamb desolate becausethey have acted. faithlessly declares the Lord God well here the word of the Lord comes tothis son of man. The Prophet is Equel, and the word that comes to his ECIL isa parable. It these a story, teaching tool that uses these natural things andthe events and institutions of this world to teach a lesson- and God gives this word to his Zekel.To make a point- and this point Um teaches a severalthings which will think about this...

...evening. It shows us that God'sjudgment is fair shows us that God's judgment iscomplete, and it also reminds us that God wants us to know him. It's one ofthe main reasons he's doing what he says he will do here. He says itseveral times, and he said it several times before this passage that theywill know that I am the Lord God. God wants us to know him and he speaksto us in this word of judgment. So, let's, let's consider it thisevening. First, the parable, it's pretty straightforward. I thinkit's pretty plain in a lot of ways. He points us to a vine if you've seen avine right, it's not like the branch of a tree or the trunk of a tree eitherusually kind of thin zekiel either or the word that comes tohis heel. The Lord makes this point about it when it was whole and notburned. Even then, it wasn't good for anything. He says in verse. Three: DoPeople take a peg from it to hang a vessel on it? It would you cut a piecefrom a vine and attach it to your wall to hang anything on? Well, no, youwould never do that with a vine. You would use a branch or some other usefulthing, so the vine is not useful. Well, it'suseful for one thing and that is to be fuel for the fire, but to be burned iswhat the Lord says, and then he says in verse. For behold,it is given for fire to the fire for fuel and when the fire has consumedboth ends of it in the middle is charred now. Is it more useful? No even less so if it wasn't good whenit was alive, and it's not good now that it has been charred and burned? Well, the point is plain, and he tellsus in verse, six like the Wood of the vine among the trees of the forestwhich I have given to the fire for fuel.

So I have given up the inhabitants ofJerusalem. A striking phrase. These are would havealso been called in other places, the chosen people of God, the people which God brought out ofEgypt, which God send plague after plague and and and righteous judgmentson Egypt to bring them out people which were brought into the land under greatleadership, faithful rulers and in people like Moses and Joshua judges who,who protected and cared for the people not always perfectly some veryimperfectly, but nevertheless the Lord was always working through this people.Think of David and Solomon, the prophets and now is ekil among manyothers. Calling out speaking of the people over and over and again and nowthe inhabits of the druth of Jerusalem have been judged, they've been judgedand they have been judged as useless, not good for anything, and so God saysI will set my face against them, though they escape from the fire. The fireshall yet consume them in. You will know by this that I am the Lord. When Iset my face against them. How will they know and how will we know that he isthe Lord when he at rules in this judgment there are several ways. One is that he is powerful. God is that was often treated by hisown people, as a no thing is a nothing a something to be ignored as someonethat you could by pass. Instead, they gave them of their attention to thebales and other false gods. They gave their attention to their corruption andtheir power, their money and murder and idolatry and many other things that's what they gave themselves overand over and over again they...

...disregarded God. They disregarded hisprofits, they disregarded his temple, they disregarded his law, God hadinstituted, he had surround them with everything that they could possiblyneed to be righteous on. According to the law he'd, given them a land he'd,given them a temple according to instructions from heaven, he'd set up apriesthood meant for a ministering. All of this he had given them specificsacrifices, he's told them. This is how you please me. This is how your sinscan be forgiven, he's, given them everything he's given them, rulers he'sgiven them laws. He set up this whole country, and yet they proved themselves faithless faithlessly. He says they have actedfaithlessly and God is going to show them now that he is not like the idols that they have made. He is not a so called God. He is theone true living God and when he decides to destroy, he will destroy. He reminds us that we must take himseriously very very seriously. The scripturestell us that our God is a consuming fire, and this is not the only thingthat we might consider and look at. We have the flood. We have Sodom andGamora, we have event after event after event, small things and big things:local things world wide things that point over and over and over again tothe point that God is not one to be mocked, messed with laughed at, ignoredand disregarded, and when God comes with judgmentagainst his people, they will see that they will learn it and so will the rest of the world. The other thing that we come to knowabout, God is that he is fair, he's not doing this out of spite or forfun or anything like that, he's doing...

...it because they've acted faithlessly.He is prosecuting the Covenant that they agreed to uphold over and overagain that he has warned them over and over again. He has given them opportunities to turnand to repent he's, given them signs he's, given them countless things, and yet they refusethey refuse to be his faithful bride. Instead, as the scriptures say theywore after other gods, in adultery over and over and over again, God is going to be fair. He is going toprosecute and his covenant and that judgment is going to be complete. Welearn that God again it does things a fully. He does things well that uselesswill be destroyed, they will be removed in all of this. God teaches us abouthimself. He teaches us that he upholds his name,that we might think we can exchange his glory for the things of this world, butwe can't it's a fool's errand, it's a dead endand it does end in judgment our blessing here to night and theblessing that many people have had ever since I egil recorded these words wasto hear them and be warned, was to hear them and hear the seriousness of themand see in ourselves are total inability to obey the law, as God hasrequired us to obey it? The law which we know we ought to do the law, whichis good, the law, which is a righteous, and yet we don't do it. Israel here isa a microcosm of the whole of humanity...

...and that's on purpose. God set things up in this way andhistory to teach us these lessons to show us who we are and who he is sothat we could finally come to a dead end in ourselves and say: There'snothing I can do my sin has corrupted me. My heart isengulfed with with unrighteousness I keep going after idols. I keep fearingother things. I am useless because of my sins, God tells us these things. God is usingthese things in history to impress these truths on our hearts, truths which are made clearer and or atleast emphasized by versus, like Romans, three twenty three for all have sinnedand fallen short of the glory of God. Galatians five. Seventeen for thedesires of the flesh are against the spirit they're against him. They wore againsthim or Romans. Eight five for those who live according to the flesh set theirminds on the things of the flesh. That's how fleshly people live. That'show worldly people live when we set our minds on the things of the flesh. It'sbecause we live according to the flesh and we will die according to the flesh.If that is where we will remain that's what his egil fifteen teaches us. It teaches us that, like elation, sixeight says that the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reapcorruption. You plant these kinds of seeds andthere's certain kinds of plants that grow fusions. Five, six, let no one deceiveyou with empty words. For because of these things, the wrath of God comesupon, the sons of disobedience,...

God doesn't wink at sin. God is capableof judging sin and he does, and he does here and will in Jerusalemand one day it's important- that we all know that when Jesus comes, he willjudge the whole world completely and perfectly forever, just like this, destroying the unrighteous and all whohave acted, faithlessly and rebelled against him. So the question for us, then, is whathope is there if we know that we are born with this flashly sinful nature.If we see how much inability there isn't us, how much corruption in US isin us? How much flesh there is in us? What can we do to be saved? What mustwe do to be saved? Is there any hope and of course there is because there'smore chapters after his Zekiel fifteen and a whole new covenant which speaksabout the promises of freedom from the condemnation that comes through the law, God continues to speak even after hejudges, Jerusalem. In fact, he will bring people back to Jerusalem to showthe things that he is going to do in Christ in order to have hope in order tobelong to something different. In order not to read that corruption andjudgment, the scriptures tell us that we must be born again. We must be made useful. John Three three Jesus says toNicodemus. Truly, truly, I say to you: Unless one is born again, he cannot seethe Kingdom of God, but that holds out a little hope.Doesn't it well? How can I be born...

...again right as the yes is the goodquestion to that? If I can change in a way, if my nature can no longer be thatwith which I was originally born with and can have something new, maybethere's hope there, especially when it's Jesus who's, saying it, and indeed he says and John Three sixthat which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of thespirit is spirit. If the flesh, as Paul says, wages were against the spirit,it'll be good news to us to know that the spirit, also wages war against theflesh and the spirit of God, is more powerful than the flesh. Continuing on and John Three, we readand Sean Three thirty six, that whoever believes in the sun has eternal life. Whoever does not obey the sun shall notsee life, but the wrath of God remains on him. That's the place in which weare that's what we are born into, but when we put our hope when we put ourhearts when we put our trust in the son of God in Jesus Christ, who has come torescue us from thissl UN rescue us from this judgment, we have we receive. Whatdoes the Scripture say? Eternal Life, not everlasting judgment, not uselessto the fire, but instead everlasting life. Indeed, Jesus will even talk inJohn He'll use the image of a vine and you'll talk about us being united tohim in such a way that we have life and have it abundantly and we are insteadof being useless, become this creature that grows and flourishes in in Christ. First Peter one, three blessed be theGod and father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

According to his great mercy, he hascaused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of JesusChrist from the dead. We can be born again because God comesinto this world and he works in us. He changes us. He changes our hearts thatwhich we are unable to do. He is able to do that which we are stuck andcontrolled by he's able to break those bars of iron, he's able to unlock thedoor and let us free to set us free to a new life, a living hope, not a maybehope, not a wishful hope, a living hope one. That is a lie, one that we coulddescribe and even name as Jesus Christ himself. First Peter Again, twenty one twentythree says since you have been born again, not of perishable seed seed tobe judged, we might say, but of imperishable of he says that hashappened through the living and abiding word of God is Zekel hears the word of the Lord, and it is a word of judgment. Isn't it, but I Zeke will also declare not herein this chapter, but in the coming chapters, as the Lordreveals it to him a word of living, hope and that's how God speaks to usboth in the law and in the Gospel. He takes our sin seriously. He pointsthem out. He presses his finger and he makes it go out, and then he also speaks to us thathealing promise of the son of God, and through that word he brings us tolife beloved through his spirit. He effectually causes calls us to himselfand, as Peter says, he causes us to be born again. So Second Corinthians Five. Seventeen,therefore, if anyone is in, is in...

Christ. He is a new creation, we don't have eternal life by believingin Christ just as like a mechanism that sort offlips the switch for salvation, but when we believe in Christ we also arein Christ. We become a new creation. Paul says a creation that is of the Holy Spirit,a creation, as he says he goes on to say the oldhas passed away and behold the new has come and this creation that God makes. Letme ask you: Do you think this creation that he makes when he indwells us withthis Holy Spirit when he draws us into Christ when he sets before us? Thisliving hope? Do you think God makes us useless or useful. He makes us useful and he does not fail at that. He doesn't not at all not a little bit.Second Timothy, two twenty one says that, as we cleanse ourselves from allof these things of receiving that through faith, we become vessels forhonorable use through Christ, not vessels or mixing things up now, but not vines asa fit to be thrown into the fire, but vessels useful for a household set apart. Asholy useful to the master of the house- and he says ready for every good work- isn't that good news? Second, timothy, three seventeen saysthat the word of God is profitable for us. It does all these things in ourhearts and in our lives to do what to make us equipped for every good work.He takes this useless vine and he makes it something useful. He makes itproductive. He makes it a valuable second or titus. Three one says thatGod makesus ready for every good work,...

...and he does this by causing us toremember and to live in the work that God has already done for us. That's ourhope. We become a people that are not cast away as useless and faithless byGod and so judgment, but through the word of God and his causing us to beborn again, we become a people that are given the gifts of the Holy Spirit ofGod. We are given gifts and and tools thatare put to use for his service. We become creatures that are no longerthat are no longer fit to be cast aside, but are fit to be wrapped up in hislove and belong even to the new heavens and the new earth. This is our hope in Jesus Christ and,as you hear this word of judgment in his he heal, let it be a warning foryou again if you need it and we all do, let it be mind you of how incapable youare of fulfilling the law and how much you need Jesus and Jesus alone to saveyou from your sins and how much you need the spirit of God to unite you tohim and give you this living hope. That is yours that when and we are in Christ,we can know we are useful new creatures and we will not fear this judgment, butinstead we will have that living hope of Christ and heaven, let's pray. I.

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